Long Riders

The Long Riders

4.5 6
Director: Walter Hill

Cast: David Carradine, Keith Carradine, Robert Carradine


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The hook in Walter Hill's mythic retelling of the James-Younger outlaw legend is in the casting; the James, Younger, Miller, and Ford Brothers are played by a string of acting brothers, the Keachs, the Carradines, the Quaids and the Guests. The film begins as outlaws are robbing a bank. After the robbery, Ed Miller (Dennis Quaid) finds himself kicked out of the gang


The hook in Walter Hill's mythic retelling of the James-Younger outlaw legend is in the casting; the James, Younger, Miller, and Ford Brothers are played by a string of acting brothers, the Keachs, the Carradines, the Quaids and the Guests. The film begins as outlaws are robbing a bank. After the robbery, Ed Miller (Dennis Quaid) finds himself kicked out of the gang for needlessly killing a man during the robbery. Jesse James (James Keach) hands over Ed's share of the money and tells him to leave, a feeling held mutually by Ed's brother Clell (Randy Quaid). After the killing the gang decides to split up for awhile. The James boys return to their wives and farms, while Cole Younger (David Carradine) travels to Texas with his prostitute girlfriend Belle Starr (Pamela Reed). After the brief respite, the gang reunites to rob a well-stocked bank in Northfield, Minnesota. The robbery turns out disastrously, with most of the gang either wounded or dying. The James boys are the only ones not seriously hurt, and they leave the rest of the gang behind, escaping while they can. After the James boys leave, the remnants of the gang are captured. But trailing the Jameses is a relentless posse. Frank and Jesse manage to keep one step ahead until the Ford brothers (Christopher Guest and Nicholas Guest) make a deal with the Pinkerton detectives trailing the outlaws.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
A violent, bloody western that gleefully thumbs its nose at horse-opera conventions, The Long Riders adheres broadly to historical reality but is clearly the product of an anti-establishment, post-Vietnam mind-set. Fans of the Sam Peckinpah school of western filmmaking will enjoy the slow-motion shootouts and their gory consequences, although story values are sacrificed to make room for the action. The movie’s principal point of interest is its casting of real-life siblings as famous outlaws: David, Keith, and Robert Carradine as Cole, Jim, and Bob Younger respectively; Stacy and James Keach as Frank and Jesse James; Dennis and Randy Quaid as Ed and Clell Miller; and Christopher and Nicholas Guest as Charlie and Bob Ford. Pamela Reed costars as the spunky Belle Starr. Director Walter Hill (Wild Bill) pays scrupulous attention to authentic period set design, costuming, and weaponry but, in the contemporary manner, justifies the desperadoes' depredations as nigh-inevitable lifestyle choices forced upon them by post-Civil War upheavals. Dubious motivations aside, the bandit brothers are portrayed as colorful characters, and their brutal exploits are dramatized in vivid fashion.
All Movie Guide - Michael Costello
Walter Hill's colorful account of the waning days of the James-Younger gang has its moments but doesn't make much of an impact. The film tracks the four sets of brothers who formed the gang through their final period together, concluding with the fateful Northfield, MN, raid. Hill's gimmick of using actual brothers to play the characters is amusing for the first five minutes, but once the novelty wears off, a sense of detachment sets in. The director, while far more knowledgeable historically than many of his predecessors with this material, has opted for a neutral approach to the story with minimal characterization and the result is largely uninvolving. Nonetheless, as is usually the case with Hill, the art direction is excellent and the details of the period carefully observed. Ric Waite's camera work is often spectacular, and the editing of the Northfield robbery is superb. Given how little the cast has to work with, the acting is also top-notch, particularly James Keach as Jesse James, David Carradine as Cole Younger, and Pamela Reed as his prostitute/girlfriend, Belle Starr.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Mgm (Video & Dvd)
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
[DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound]
Sales rank:

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
David Carradine Cole Younger
Keith Carradine Jim Younger
Robert Carradine Bob Younger
Stacy Keach Frank James
James Keach Jesse James
Dennis Quaid Ed Miller
Randy Quaid Clell Miller
Kevin Brophy John Younger
Harry Carey George Arthur
Christopher Guest Charlie Ford
Nicholas Guest Bob Ford
Shelby Leverington Annie Ralston
Felice Orlandi Mr. Reddick
Pamela Reed Belle Starr
James Remar Sam Starr
Fran Ryan Mrs. Samuel
Savannah Smith Zee
Amy Stryker Beth
James Whitmore Mr. Rixley
John Bottoms Mortician
West Buchanan McCorkindale
Savannah Smith Boucher Actor
Edward Bunker Actor
Steve Chambers Actor
Luis Contreras Actor
Martina Deignan Actor
J. Don Ferguson Actor
Alan Lee Graf Actor
Peter Jason Actor
Hugh McGraw Actor
Chris Mulkey Actor
Tim Rossovich Actor
Prentiss Rowe Actor
Lin Shaye Actor
Duke Stroud Actor
William Traylor Actor
Gary Watkins Actor
Glenn Robards Actor
Thomas J. Sauber Actor

Technical Credits
Walter Hill Director
Tom Bronson Costumes/Costume Designer
Bill Bryden Screenwriter
Jack T. Collis Production Designer
Ry Cooder Score Composer,Musical Arrangement
Freeman Davies Editor
Richard C. Goddard Set Decoration/Design
David Holden Editor
Stacy Keach Executive Producer,Screenwriter
James Keach Executive Producer,Screenwriter
Vincenzo Mannino Costumes/Costume Designer
Chris McLaughlin Sound/Sound Designer
Peter Romero Art Director
Steven Phillip Smith Screenwriter
Ric Waite Cinematographer
James Webb Sound/Sound Designer
Tim Zinnemann Producer


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The Long Riders 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
deemae More than 1 year ago
excellent, excellent western! the shootout scene for the northfield raid is one of the classic shootouts ever filmed for a movie.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
A must have film for anyone who likes The Old West.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Walter Hill does a great job of delivering action in a believable fashion for a Hollywood retelling. And the casting doesn't suffer from it's "brother" novelty, since everyone carries thier part pretty well. Just a solid Western in the style of Peckinpah.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Long Riders is a magnificent piece of cinema and art, period. It is one of the last truly classical Westerns that this country produced and is the best and most realistic portrayal of James and Younger gang. The climax shootout in Minnesota reminded much of the opening reel of the Wild Bunch. The violence in it is brutal yet not irrelavant or glorified, it's just there. There are excellent one-liners in this movie from David Carradine, my favorite character in all of Westerns besides Augustus McCrae.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago